Book Reviews

The Passage Book Review:

The Passage (The Passage trilogy Book 1).

Justin Cronin.

5 stars out of 5.

The book blurb:

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she’s the most important person in the whole world.
She is.

Anthony Carter doesn’t think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He’s wrong.

FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.

The Passage is an epic post apocalyptic novel, in every sense, although the first book in a trilogy it is itself split into 3 separate parts.

The book starts of in the near future with twelve death row inmates and an abandoned girl being experimented on by the US government. The experiments are being conducted in the hope that a virus can turn the test subjects into superhumans, however things go wrong, the tests don’t go as planned and there are unplanned side effects to the virus, namely vampire like qualities. An accident occurs resulting in the virus spreading with the twelve now freed former death row inmates who have turned into vampires or virals as they are known in this book. With the release of the virus things soon turn bad and the end result is quite simply that the world as we know it ends.

This all occurs within the first 250 pages of the book, ending the first part of the book with the end of the world.

The second part of the book starts out with a completely new set of characters, 92 years in the future, who live in a fortified colony and keep the virals at bay by a system of massive lights that mean the colony is never dark and aside from the occasional viral showing up at the walls or attacking they live in relative peace. The actual colony was created as the world ended by the US military and things start to go wrong as the power source (running non-stop for over 90 years) to the lighting starts to drain and a group of the colonists end up having to leave behind the safety of the walls and never ending light to venture out into a world they know nothing about on a quest to find a power source to recharge the colonies batteries but along the way after a viral attack one of the colonists has a chance meeting with a strange young girl and there quest for a power source soon turns into something more. The chance meeting with the young girl results in her showing up at the colonies walls and not to give any spoilers away ends up with her and a group of colonists leaving, ending the second part of the book.

The third part of the book is about the groups journey after they leave behind the colony. It wouldbe hard to elaborate on what happens in this part without giving away the story so I won’t as it truly is an epic tale.

From start to finish this is an amazing book, the opening paragraph had me hooked ‘Before she became The Girl From Nowhere – The One Who Walked In, The First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years – she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy’.

The book is well written throughout with amazing characters that the author really makes you care about and thats no small feat as there are 2 sets of characters who are both completely different, the characters from part 1 of the book before the world ends and the characters from parts 2 and 3 of the book 92 years in the future. This really is a character driven book, you wouldn’t think that you could care about a death row inmate but learning his back story and what happened to him you really do and you don’t just feel sympathetic to him you genuinely feel sorry for him. The only character aside from the virals who appears in all the parts of the book is the young abandoned girl, Amy.

The only downside to the book is the jarring impact between the jump from the first to the second part of the book, as I had grown to really care about the characters in the first part and thought that it was a really emotive read. Due to that it took me a while to get into the second part of the book that does start of fairly slow as you learn about life in the colony but the pace soon picks up and you again find yourself caring about the characters and their story.

I can’t rate this book high enough, it sits alongside The Stand and Swan Song as one of the greatest post-apocalyptic books ever written, yes, all 3 are similar but there are enough differences to make them all unique and stand out in there own way.

This is a well written, emotive, thought provoking masterful tale, that really makes you feel like you are journeying along with the characters.


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8 thoughts on “The Passage Book Review:

  1. I’ve started reading this book and just got to the end of the first section and had just decided to give up on the book, when I read your review. I realise now that the rest of it isn’t necessarily going to be so harrowing (I hope?). I’ve found it well written – but very wrenching with all the death and destruction, however now I’ve discovered that Amy is going to feature again, I’ll persevere – thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The rest of the book is still harrowing but not on the level of the first part. The first part really is a shock, you’ve just got to know the characters and story and then it’s taken away from you and your thrust forward into the future with a new set of characters and setting to learn about.

      If I’m honest, The Passage is one of my favourite ever books so I’m slightly biased and would recommend it to everyone. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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